About the Lab

Bringing Science Solutions to the World

From the infinite scale of the universe to the infinitesimal scale of subatomic particles, researchers at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory – Berkeley Lab – are advancing the scope of human knowledge and seeking science solutions to some of the greatest problems facing humankind. Scientific excellence and an unparalleled record of achievement have been the hallmarks of this Laboratory since it was founded in 1931.

Thirteen Nobel Prizes are associated with Berkeley Lab. Eighty Lab scientists are members of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS), one of the highest honors for a scientist in the United States. Fifteen of our scientists have won the National Medal of Science, our nation’s highest award for lifetime achievement in fields of scientific research, and one (Arthur Rosenfeld) has received the National Medal of Technology and Innovation. In addition, Berkeley Lab has trained tens of thousands of university science and engineering students who are advancing technological innovations across the nation and around the world.

Located on a 202-acre site in the hills above the UC Berkeley campus with spectacular views of the San Francisco Bay, Berkeley Lab is a multiprogram science lab in the national laboratory system supported by the U.S. Department of Energy through its Office of Science. It is managed by the University of California and is charged with conducting unclassified research across a wide range of scientific disciplines. Technologies developed at Berkeley Lab have generated billions of dollars in revenues and thousands of jobs. Savings as a result of Berkeley Lab developments in energy-efficient technologies – from cool roofs to window coatings to appliances – have also been in the billions of dollars.

Berkeley Lab was founded by Ernest Orlando Lawrence, a UC Berkeley physicist who won the 1939 Nobel Prize in physics for his invention of the cyclotron, a circular particle accelerator that opened the door to high-energy physics. It was Lawrence’s belief that scientific research is best done through teams of individuals with different fields of expertise, working together. His teamwork concept is a Berkeley Lab legacy that continues today.